GIAM ZRC SAZU - Geografski inštitut Antona Melika Znanstvenoraziskovalnega centra Slovenske akademije znanosti in umetnosti

Short history

The Geographical Institute was founded in 1946 by the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts. In 1976 it was named after Slovenia’s greatest geographer, academy member Anton Melik (1890–1966), who served as the institute’s first director. Since 1981, the institute has been one of the members of the Scientific Research Center of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts. In 2002 the Institute for Geography (established in 1962) and the Geographical Museum of Slovenia (established in 1946) were joined to the institute.

Main tasks
From the very beginning, the institute's main task has been to conduct basic and applied geographical research on Slovenia and its landscapes and to prepare basic geographical texts on Slovenia as a country and as a part of the world. Since Slovenia gained independence, in cooperation with other Slovenian geographers the institute’s staff has prepared a large variety of basic geographical works on Slovenia as an independent country. These include national, world, school, and census atlases, a dictionary of geographical terminology, a lexicon of Slovenian place names, and a regional and general monograph. The institute participates in numerous projects in Slovenia and abroad, organizes academic conferences, trains junior researchers, and participates in professional exchanges. In the past ten years, the institute’s research team has published over 3,000 bibliographic units and made over 500 presentations at conferences in Slovenia and abroad.

The institute has nine organizational units: the Department of Physical Geography, the Department of Social Geography, the Department of Regional Geography, the Department of Natural Disasters, the Department of Environmental Protection, the Department of Geographic Information Systems, the Department of Thematic Cartography, the Geographical Museum, and the Geographical Library. The institute also houses cartographic and geographical collections, and is the headquarters of the Commission for the Standardization of Geographical Names of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia (Komisija za standardizacijo zemljepisnih imen Vlade Republike Slovenije).